Accident Response Fee?

This is a discussion on Accident Response Fee? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; While watching one of my daily random news sources, SXEPhil from YouTube, I heard of this 'accident response fee' that the police and firefighters in ...

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Thread: Accident Response Fee?

  1. #1
    Member Array OMEGA2669's Avatar
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    Accident Response Fee?

    While watching one of my daily random news sources, SXEPhil from YouTube, I heard of this 'accident response fee' that the police and firefighters in Florida have. Basically if they respond to the scene of your accident you will get a bill. SXEPhil goes on to say about how the police aren't there for you, as we know, they are there to enforce laws. But the firefighters, and police, responding to the accident either to put out a fire or to write a citation for a traffic violation... are billing you... to do the job... that you pay them for already... outstanding!



    Link To SXEPhil's News Feed, Excerpt Below, Edited For Forum

    “After her sport utility vehicle sideswiped a van in early February, Shirley Kimel was amazed at how quickly a handful of police officers and firefighters in Winter Haven, Fla., showed up. But a real shock came a week later, when a letter arrived from the city billing her $316 for the cost of responding to the accident.”

    They actually changed the law in Winter Haven, so that the cost of police and firefighters, is not covered by your taxes. Taxes are the money we pay the government, to give away to big companies, where they then, throw that money into a fire.

    It has long been believed that taxes went to things, like roads, schools, police, and all sorts of **** we need, but NO. NOT TRUE.

    Whether the cop is going to be sitting with his thumb up his ***, beating down little girls, or working on paperwork, he is still getting paid. Why should anyone be paid extra, because they are doing their ******* job? The audacity of these people blows my mind. IT MAKES ME WANT TO TYPE LIKE BABYCAKES KANYE WEST!

    Like To The Florida Senate Issue Brief, Excerpt Below

    Budget-constrained cities and counties in Florida and across the country are seeking new revenue sources. As a result, some local governments in Florida and in 17 other states1 have begun the practice of billing drivers and their motor vehicle insurers for police and fire responses to auto accidents, no matter how routine or minor. These “accident response fees” are designed to recoup the cost of auto accident response services provided by local governments. In some cases, third-party vendors are encouraging this practice by soliciting counties and cities for the collection of these accident response fees for a percentage of the recovery, usually ten percent. Typically, the fees range from one hundred to several hundreds of dollars per accident based on the personnel, material and time spent in investigating the crash. Some auto insurers question the validity of these fees arguing that local residents already pay for these services through property taxes. Other insurers assert that police and fire accident response services are not covered under auto policies.
    Last edited by Miggy; April 14th, 2009 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Language workaround
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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    I got a bill from the Bartlett City Fire dept after I got rear-ended and my car totaled. They stood around. It is pretty nervy IMO. I really wanted to send it back with a letter detailing where the bill could be stuck, but cooler heads prevailed.
    The third party companies that do the billing and collections on these things are pretty fishy IMO, I wonder who's brother-in-law you have to be to get the contracts ?. The whole thing stinks.

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Me thinks it is another way to raise taxes without raising taxes.
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    Yeah I think you are right there ExactlyMyPoint. I wonder how long before everyone starts doing it. Maybe we should just not pay them with tax dollars and the police and fire departments should charge per call instead!? Yay! It is an outrage in my mind and I don't know why the citizens of the states that do this put up with it. I know I would be writing letter after letter...
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    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    When the tax base of a community goes down the funds must be made up somewhere. Y'all notice more radar running these days as a method of revenue generation, not safety concerns?
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExactlyMyPoint View Post
    Me thinks it is another way to raise taxes without raising taxes.
    How could you possibly SAY such a thing?!? Surely they would have been more transparent if they were to have done such a thing, and given time for the public to respond before any such changes. Wouldn't they?

    And besides, that would be taxing the poor unfortunate who has already suffered loss! Is THAT the way our government works?!
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    Just wondering here. If you refuse to pay because you didn't call 911 and request assistance could they make it stick. Maybe they could send the bill to the uninvolved third party individual who called 911.
    Last edited by archer51; April 14th, 2009 at 08:40 AM. Reason: corrected spelling

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    Senior Member Array TonyW's Avatar
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    I think it's plain, unadulterated crap.
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    If someone is a true victim then they shouldn't get billed. If a driver blows a light, is DUI, or manages another traffic violation that causes a vehicle crash resulting in injuries, roadways being shut, miles of traffic backlog, etc maybe they should be billed. How about the driver's insurance company being billed. After all, it appears to me, it's because of insurance companies that police in PA need to write a 7 page report (complete with diagram) resulting in "down time" and road closures to perform the required investigation that may be used in private civil matters with the obligatory lawsuits that fly. On a related subject, I think court costs should be raised substantially on all defendants. They should contribute more for the costs of police because they create the need.

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    This is common for FD, not so much for PD.

    There are many private owned and run FD's around the country, where the governmental agency simply pays a retainer fee of sorts to the fire company, and they in turn bill the indvidual or insurance company for service rendered.

    There was a push a while back for PD's to go this route as well, but it didnt go near as far as the FD's did. There are only a few private PD's around.

    For some things, I have no problem billing extra for. One thing that is very common is excessive alarm drops or non sense 911 calls. Responing to a A/A? Nah... thats taking it to far. Cite the at fault driver, that penalty should be high enough to cover the expenses.
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    Fort Lauderdale FD will charge if they take you to the Hospital. If the show up and nothing happens, you get a freebie.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    I used to work accident response, in Indiana, for an environmental company (train & plane accidents, gas spills etc). I especially remember during several large gas spills (overturned tanker trucks) the massive number of firefighters screwing around. We'd have 7-10 engines running and most of the crews gabbing and joking off. When it was time for them to leave they would make sure to drag the oldest hoses and protective gear through the spilled fuel, deeming them ruined because gasoline destroys the fireproofing and melts many of the plastics and rubber coverings. Of course these were billed to the company/ insurer. It seemed the way many rural towns/ fire districts got new equipment. Happened at every accident where large amounts of fuel were spilled except one, and that was cleanup of a crashed Air Force jet on the base.
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    This is NOT common in Florida. I can tell you first hand that the only two counties considering this for Fire Rescue services were Martin County and one on the West coast of Florida. There is legislation in review now to eliminate that possibility as double taxation.

    Now if you are transported by Fire Rescue or FD paramedics to a hospital for treatment, you will receive a bill that is regulated by Medicare. If you get med a vac'd that bill is pretty stiff.

    If you cause a hazmat spill that requires a great deal of cleanup, the ability to bill for excessive expenses has been on the books of federal law since the 80s.

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    My service doesn't do this, but let me give you all some advice.

    Unless you are required to give your name, address, etc. to an LEO because you were an involved driver, or otherwise found yourself the subject of police scrutiny, don't! Even if you must give it to the LEO, specify the information is not to be given to anyone else.

    When the nice firefighter or EMT asks you for this information, either politely decline, citing privacy concerns, or give them the identification of a certain mouse at Disneyland.

    At our service (and others I know) we don't even collect insurance info from out transported patients, other than a signature. But we do get a fax of their financial info from the ED. So then we have name, address, SSN, insurance company, and a sig authorizing indebtedness and payment. This is legal under HIPPA (I assume) since you sign the hospital's consent form authorizing them to share your info.
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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Paramedic.

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